Disney, MGM Strikes Movie Deals With Australia's Foxtel
SYDNEY - Australian pay TV operator Foxtel said Thursday that it has secured new deals with The Walt Disney Co. and MGM Studios Inc. to supply movie content to its recently launched Foxtel Movies and Premium Drama services.
In addition, Foxtel has picked up the rights to AMC’s Mad Men, which will join the expanded “Express From the U.S.” lineup, with the new season of the series to air starting April 8 at 4:45 p.m. Sydney time, within hours of its original U.S. broadcast.
Foxtel is a joint venture between Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and telecom giant Telstra Corp.
Said Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein: “The inclusion of films from Disney and MGM, joining our other studio partners, ensures that Foxtel Movies and Premium Drama customers will have access to all of the best content Hollywood produces. Huge box-office successes such as Marvel’s The Avengers, Brave, Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be seen on the Foxtel platform over coming months, with many more great films to follow."
The Disney deal expands on Foxtel’s arrangements with it and will see Disney Channel move onto Foxtel’s basic tier and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Disney/Pixar and Marvel titles join the Foxtel Movies service. The Avengers’ star, local boy Chris Hemsworth, recently signed to Foxtel in a promotional role as a Foxtel “ambassador.”
The new deals finalize the unwinding of previous agreements whereby customers could subscribe to two separate movie services run by the Movie Network Partnership and the Premium Movie Partnership, with different studios partnered in one or the other service.
When those contracts expired last year, Foxtel sought to cut the cost of its supply deals and bring all movies and premium TV drama under the one banner.
The Foxtel Movies & Premium Drama service now allows customers to buy one package that includes a Foxtel Movies Premiere channel for the latest release movies, six genre-based Foxtel Movies channels (action-adventure, comedy, drama/romance, family, thriller/crime and masterpiece), a showcase channel (the home of HBO) and foreign-language films from World Movies.
Also included in the supply arrangements are digital streaming rights that will allow Foxtel customers to watch the movie and TV drama channels on mobile devices through the Foxtel Go service. Foxtel Go is available on iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch devices, with Android devices to follow shortly.
Separately, Foxtel said thst it will expand its “Express From the U.S.” strategy to offer an “unprecedented” number of programs screened just hours after their U.S. broadcast. They will include new seasons of Girls, Game of Thrones, True Blood, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy, Enlightened, Veep, Treme, The Newsroom and Mad Men all on showcase; The Carrie Diaries, Revolution, Chicago Fire, Falling Skies, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries on FOX8; The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, Transporter: The Series on FX; Smash and The Glades on SoHo; The Real Housewives on Arena; and The Colbert Report, The Daily Show and TOSH.0 on The Comedy Channel.